The number connections were about 107 million in 2011
Worldwide cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) connections are expected to rise to about 326 million by 2016 from about 107 million connections in 2011, according to a report by IHS.
With key growth areas are reaching a point of saturation and core mobile voice/data services market is on the path of maturity, mobile companies are also developing and expanding their activities in the cellular M2M market.
Factors driving the M2M market include: government regulatory initiatives, the desire by corporate adopters to increase efficiency and develop new revenue models, the report revealed.
Other factors which claimed to be driving the market include increasing number of tools and platforms that help to facilitate cellular M2M application development and the declining costs of components and services.
According to the estimate, managed connectivity accounts for only about 10% to 30% of the overall market.
IMS Research senior principal analyst Sam Lucero said mobile operators are not simply providing managed connectivity services to the cellular M2M market but increasingly are 'connecting the dots' among M2M ecosystem players, including suppliers and developers - and this benefits the market as a whole.
"Examples of this proactive role by mobile operators range from establishing module supply programs to developing partnerships with platform vendors and solution suppliers to reduce overall complexity in the value chain," Lucero said.
The report said that mobile operators are now setting up M2M business units, deploying connection management platforms (CMP) and taking a leading role in coordinating the cellular M2M value chain at multiple levels.
They offer managed connectivity services to M2M application service providers (ASPs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and corporate adopters as well as expand the mobile operators' own share of the M2M value stack.